Connect Young Children to Nature, not Wifi
As Singapore is an island, being surrounded by water means that in time to come, all of us must understand the effects of climate change, and learn to do our part to limit this change.
Conservation International Singapore is working with more than 25 schools to inspire students to take climate action through education programmes, assembly talks, and interactive booths.
In particular, through our Leadership Training Programme, we take a deep dive into issues such as climate change, and encourage students to come up with their own projects ideas that will not only raise awareness of today’s issues but drive positive action for the environment.
The results thus far have been encouraging:
- A secondary school student encouraged canteen vendors to not give out plastic straws and bags to reduce the usage of finite resources as well as their carbon footprint and the amount of plastic going into the oceans
- A group of primary school children presented to their teachers on the environmental issues we face, to encourage them to reduce their usage of disposable resources. The teachers heard them loud and clear, and started bringing reusable containers and bags to work.
- A co-curricular Green Club deployed members as environmental monitors, to teach fellow students to reduce, reuse and recycle, with a focus on reducing the need to waste resources.
The most critical takeaway we understood from educating students was that, they act on what they care about. When they see for themselves the beauty of nature, and learn that our food comes from soil not supermarkets, that water doesn’t flow miraculously from taps, and that sometimes the fresh air we breathe is taken for granted – unless our sunny island gets shrouded in haze, they start to care. They ask questions about the issues we face today, on how we got here, and more often than not, we have students raising their hands, asking, “What can I do?”.
Our role in Conservation International Singapore is not to provide a check list of things to do. Rather, it is to connect the next generation of leaders — our children — with nature in all its wonder, so they can ask the right questions, and learn to protect what they love, as well as their future.
After all, nature doesn’t need people, but people need nature to thrive. We also need nature for climate resilience — as it has been scientifically proven that nature, through its ability to sequester carbon — is 30% the solution to climate change.